With a few weeks until the trade deadline arrives, the Atlanta Hawks have a few players to closely monitor and one is veteran point guard Jeremy Lin. Last week, word surfaced that teams like the Blazers, 76ers and Pelicans could have interest in acquiring the 30-year-old and, on Tuesday, Marc Stein of the New York Times added another team to the mix.
That team is the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento is among the teams that have expressed exploratory trade interest in Hawks guard Jeremy Lin, according to league sources— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 15, 2019
Sacramento is the only NBA team with significant salary cap space at the moment, which adds an interesting dynamic to the proceedings. Lin’s contract ($13.8 million) could be difficult to move in some instances but, given the current state of the Kings, Sacramento would have to send less than $3 million back in salary to make the deal work under league rules.
It should be noted, though, that Stein also references contracts like that of Zach Randolph ($11.7 million) and Kosta Koufos ($8.7 million), which could be involved in any discussion with the Hawks theoretically acquiring an asset to make up for the downgrade in on-court ability.
The Kings, meanwhile, would appear to be a natural destination for Lin, given Sacramento's push to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and the expiring contracts it has available to swap in Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 15, 2019
Beyond that, the Kings could certainly use an upgrade in the backcourt behind De’Aaron Fox, especially as they aim for a playoff push. Sacramento’s early-season performance has been a pleasant surprise to virtually everyone but, given their relatively close proximity to the playoff chase, it makes sense that the team might look to add talent without sacrificing future flexibility.
On the Hawks side, GM Travis Schlenk has been open about the team’s pursuit of potential deals with a future-facing slant. While it is too early for grand takeaways with regard to a potential deal with the Kings, it would be easier to make a deal with Sacramento than virtually any team in the NBA right now and Atlanta could target a young, cost-controlled player or a move centered on draft assets that might involve a player like Yogi Ferrell, who has a non-guaranteed salary for next season and could also function as a backup point guard for the remainder of 2018-19.
Stay tuned as more information comes to light but the Kings are now another team to monitor in the coming days.